You know your Tuesday will suck when you cross from one county to another and find that this county decided to be totally wet this morning. Why is that a problem? Because some of us walk for miles to get to work once we alight from the bus stop. One reason why I should work from home.

This Tuesday morning, I was up at 7 as usual. Yeah, don’t put on that face. You are probably seated in a traffic jam at the time but yeah, some of us wake up that late. 😛 Perks of living along Waiyaki Way and its extensions (read, Upper Westlands a.k.a. Kinoo and its suburbs.) Anyway, I wake up reluctantly as I have done the past 12 years of my life. No, I am not 12. Yes, I was a bit enthusiastic in the morning when I was in primary school. Do the math. I know today is going to be cold. I always know since I test the weather before I do anything else. How do I do this? I go to the loo. Where is the loo? It’s outside because the inside loo is only for night purposes. Because this is Kenya, Upper Westlands to be exact. Water runs once a week in some of our taps. The rest of the week is spent hauling pails of water into the house because the man of the house decided only the kitchen tap should be hooked up to continuous water. Anyway, yes, latrine.

There was a general dampness in the air but not much. Not enough to get my already tangled hair into a ball of an ugali-like mess. That told my brain that no umbrella was necessary today. I gave up on Google Now weather predictions because it tells me the weather in Gitaru when I need to know what the weather will be like in Westlands. Now you begin to see why crossing counties is a problem. Moreover, it claims the weather as I write this is 14°, Drizzle. A drizzle does not get you wet, Google! Come on! Anyhow, I could not get my favourite purple scarf for one of many reasons I am yet to know. It happens in a house of people of different ages and characteristics. Mum offered her very warm shawl and that turned out to be a lifesaver.

Eventually I got to Westlands and the place was raining! Aargh! It never ever does when I bring along my brolly. Like seriously. So I end up trudging up Ring Road looking like a complete lunatic since I am the only one with a brolly. These are the times it rains in Gitaru. Sometimes, my shoes are muddy too. I can feel the peering eyes of my fellow walkers asking which part of the country I come from. I now have to decide how I will make it to the other side of the western suburbs of Nairobi without getting soaked. I unfold mum’s handy shawl and wrap it around my head. Hair first. Hair first, always. I now look like every other woman walking around with heads and torsos wrapped around shawls and lesos. It could be worse. I could have walked into Naivas next door and bought something just for the paper bag. Lol. I don’t care that you don’t like that, dear man, it’s my hair, not yours. I don’t like it either but that’s not the point. Plus I am not going to buy a brolly when I left brollies lying around the house. There are better things to do with money. Like buy a warm sausage roll from the Naivas bakery and then get that tiny paper bag as a perk for my head. Genius, right? Only that Naivas sausage rolls suck. But I will think of something while in there.

Moving on. I chill around the bus stop for a bit for the shelter, hoping that the rain will chill out and let me walk. I cannot hear anything around me since my earphones are on, full blast. This newspaper vendor wants me to buy a newspaper. Last I bought a newspaper was after Mandela’s demise, mostly because the Saturday Nation cover was real pretty. I can be that shallow sometimes. Obviously I am not going to buy a paper. So I decide to be a man (or woman) and walk it out. It’s not real rain, I tell myself. I cross the road with that crowd of people at the roundabout. I love crossing the road in a crowd. That way, it is a massive human shield. 😀 That is the only reason I do not alight at Chiromo which would make my walk shorter. 0.1km shorter. I walk 1.8km every weekday morning and evening, so don’t ask me why I never grow fat next time you see me. At Chiromo there is no crowd to cross the road. It’s you and yourself. Scary business. I tried it once. I wasted 10 minutes waiting for the opportune moment to dart across the dual carriageway. I cannot afford to waste that kind of time all the while risking my life. Plus there are nearly no matatus to work from either bus stops. I’d rather walk.

Back to today, I walked through that rain, like many other men. The ladies had those tiny brollies they love. I see no point carrying a tiny brolly by the way. It will not help me in the event of actual rain. It will get blown away into some convex skeleton that will only embarrass rather than shelter you. I felt sorry for myself. Tiny little girl getting pelted by the rain, walking up and down the road alongside folk in warm cars. I will tell these stories to my great grandchildren. I will tell them not to take it for granted that they live in a flying nation because I lived through the days of a walking nation. By the time I get to the office, I am cold and reasonably soaked. But the rain has not seeped through into my flu-beaten body. I have this flu that will not go away. And it will not soon because I got meds then bailed on them as they made me sleepy at work. I am still cold as I write this. I told you August would be cold. My Ngwata Francis skills just suck when it comes to specific days and hours. That was my morning. How was yours?

Rainy Westlands, Ring Road, Nairobi.

This is Ring Road four months ago when I actually had a brolly so had time to take photos and whatnot.

(Sorry if you thought this was about free downloads. Insert evil laugh. I chose to go with the other two definitions before the Internet existed.)

Written by Shiku Ngigi

Mum and dad’s daughter. Shouting big sister. Learning to listen. Jesus freak. Recovering tomboy. Mouse potato. Bass addict. Waking up the writer in her.

    6 Comments

  1. Wanjiku August 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm Reply

    heheh I love your writes basically because it sounds (read reads) as if you are just typing what and how you would actually be saying (never mind I dont know you) buh oh well we already have two things in common, both of us are tiny they sweep us off the ground and we cross counties to work! Gitaru is closer home- Wangige- so I feel you 🙂

    • Shiku Ngigi August 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm Reply

      🙂 Ocha mate!

  2. Miriam August 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm Reply

    Hahah I just thought ‘rain’ when I saw this. Incidentally my mum gave me her very warm shawl this morning too which has been a lifesaver as I kept berating myself for not wearing stockings! Get well soon 🙂

    • Shiku Ngigi August 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm Reply

      Thank you dearie! Mums know best.

  3. James Mwangi August 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm Reply

    I love the optimism in that article. And I can picture you in my mind walking in the rain- a tiny figure wincing from the lashes of the rain drops and the cold Nairobi winds. But you remember our point of contention?

    • Shiku Ngigi August 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm Reply

      I do, my honest critic. We will still go through the debate until we are done.

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